Today is ‘Take Your Child to Work Day.’ As a child, I loved that day and looked forward to it every year. It wasn’t because I got to miss a day of school, but because I got to spend that day with my mother and watch her work.
It was such a joy to see what my mother did all day, and to be a part of it. She would take time throughout the day to train me a little on how to do her job, show me around her workplace, and introduce me to all of her co-workers.
I remember following her up and down aisles of file folders stacked high on shelves, helping her gather the ones she needed. During that time she worked for the courts, so I got to watch some interesting interactions between her and the people who would come into the office. I was so fascinated by how my mother handled herself and the way that she spoke with them, no matter what mood they were in.
She was always very professional, but I could also tell that she enjoyed her job. She would smile and laugh with her co-workers, they would make jokes, and some would even do little dances through the aisles. It was entertaining, fun, and very educational.
My step-father worked in the same building, on the first floor. Sometimes, when he wasn’t working in the field, I would ride the elevator down to go visit with him. On my way however, I would take a long detour to travel down hallways and read the signs posted on office doors.
It was also a great place for people watching. Since it was a court building, there were all types of people there. Many waiting for their appearance in court, and others angry in the hallway over the verdict they were just given. There was never a dull moment, and all of it intrigued me.
Lunch time would roll around and my mother would take me to a little Italian restaurant nearby that served the most delicious calzones. We would sit there for a while and talk about the day’s events and all that I had learned. However, I’m not sure if I ever mentioned my detours to her. But knowing my curiosity, she wouldn’t have expected any different from me.
After lunch, we’d head back to work. Occasionally I would glance at the clock, each time disappointed that the day was drawing closer to the end. When the clock hit five, we would meet my step-father downstairs and head home.
I’ve always loved to work, and I credit some of it to days like that. Many parents may think it’s a hassle to take their children to work and perhaps it is, but there are so many benefits to doing so.
Children need to know what it’s like to have a job. They need to see how to be professional, how to enjoy their work, and what all earning an income entails. Plus it helps them to gain a greater respect for their parents.
Instead of just being told, “I work all day to put a roof over your head,” they get to see just how you do that. Children are visual learners. In just one day, they can learn many valuable lessons that will go with them for the rest of their lives.
It’s ‘Take Your Child to Work Day.’ If you missed out this year, don’t worry you’ll have another chance. It happens every year, on the 4th Thursday of April. It’s one day out of the entire year, and for your child, it could be one of the most important days of them all.
“The greatest gift you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” ~ Denis Waitley